Bed bugs are increasingly common now due to increased international travel, since bedbugs are spread by travellers, not by poor cleaning practices. There is a lot that you can do, even before you leave home, to protect yourself against bed bugs.

This printable travel card prepared by the New York State Integrated Pest Management program and Cornell University gives you tips on what to look for when you are checking in, whether you're staying at a budget motel or a five-star hotel:

http://www.nysipm.cornell.edu/publica...

Print it and store it in your wallet so that you can easily refer to it at the end of a long day travelling. Pack a flashlight so that you can see better when you're doing your room inspection. 

More tips from New York State Integrated Pest Management can be found here:

http://www.nysipm.cornell.edu/whats_b...

You can buy bed bug barrier products like lugagge liners, which will keep bedbugs out of your suitcases. Do not put your suitcase on the bed, bedbugs can hitchike on the outside of many types of suitcases even if you used luggage liners on the inside. You can ask your hotel if they use mattress and pillow encasements, which keep bedbugs from taking up residence in the mattresses and pillows. Do not use hotel dressers (bureaus) because bedbugs can live inside them.

If you find bedbugs in your room, do not use any kind of spray or pesticide; anything consumers can buy will not be effective. But your spray could end up repelling the bedbugs so that the infestation spreads.

Makers of silk bedding products sometimes claim that silk protects sleepers from bedbugs.However, the only kind of bedding that will protect you at night is a hazmat suit. As long as your head (or any other part of your body) is uncovered, bedbugs can get inside the silk bedding

Online bedbug registries are not a very reliable source of information. People can try to damage a hotel's reputation by falsely claiming bedbugs, people can misidentify other problems as bedbugs, and places might not be removed from the registry even after the bedbugs have been dealt with.

Hope these tips help make your vacation more pleasant so that you can 'sleep tight' and not 'let the bedbugs bite.'